Triacylglycerol hydrolase (TGH) is an enzyme that catalyzes the lipolysis of intracellular stored triacylglycerol (TG). Peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) regulate a multitude of genes involved in lipid homeostasis. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are PPAR ligands and fatty acids are produced via TGH activity, so we studied whether dietary fats and PPAR agonists could regulate TGH expression. In 3T3-L1 adipocytes, TGH expression was increased 10-fold upon differentiation, compared to pre-adipocytes. 3T3-L1 cells incubated with a PPARgamma agonist during the differentiation process resulted in a 5-fold increase in TGH expression compared to control cells. Evidence for direct regulation of TGH expression by PPARgamma could not be demonstrated as TGH expression was not affected by a 24-h incubation of mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes with the PPARgamma agonist. Feeding mice diets enriched in fatty acids for 3 weeks did not affect hepatic TGH expression, though a 3-week diet enriched in fatty acids and cholesterol increased hepatic TGH expression 2-fold. Two weeks of clofibrate feeding did not significantly affect hepatic TGH expression or microsomal lipolytic activities in wild-type or PPARalpha-null mice, indicating that PPARalpha does not regulate hepatic TGH expression. Therefore, TGH expression does not appear to be directly regulated by PPARs or fatty acids in the liver or adipocytes.